Residential fires can occur at any time, but most homeowners don't think that it will happen to them. If a fire breaks out the most important thing is to get all family members and pets out safely and have the fire department put out the flames. But the aftermath of a house fire can require a lot of time and effort to get your home back into livable condition. If you have had either a major or minor house fire, use the following tips:

Always Wear A Mask

In the days after a house fire, you may have to visit your home to collect personal items or other belongings. When entering a home that has experienced a fire, it is very important to wear a face mask in order to prevent breathing ash or soot that can be damaging to your lungs. Before entering your home, make sure that your city or municipality has deemed it safe and structurally sound.

Immediately Contact Your Insurance Company

Damages caused by fire are typically covered by homeowners insurance policies, so you will want to contact your insurance company as quickly as possible to file a claim after a house fire. The sooner that an insurance adjuster can come out and view the damage, the sooner you can get a check to help repair and rebuild your home.

Hire A Fire Restoration Company

After a house fire, whether it is in one area or a few rooms, the clean up is very difficult. Between the ash, soot, and smoke damage, cleaning up is not something that a normal homeowner can do with some all-purpose cleaner and several cleaning rags. If you are in the situation of needing to clean up after a residential fire, it is in your best interest to seek out professional fire restoration services. Companies that offer fire restoration have specialized tools and cleaning techniques that will remove ash and soot that may potentially cause respiratory problems. Check with your insurance company to see if fire damage services are included in your homeowners insurance policy.

Make Plans For Alternate Living Arrangements

Even with professional fire restoration services, it may be days or weeks before your house is completely safe to live in and restored to its previous state. Some homeowners insurance policies may provide cash to pay for homing expenses while a home is repaired. If yours does not, make it a point to contact family and friends as quickly as possible to find a place to stay. If you don't have family or friends in the area, local charities may be able to assist you in finding a place to stay until your home is ready to live in again.